Archive for the ‘traveling’ Category

Fukuoka! ^_^;;

The bridge to Nakasu

While it might sound odd, I’ve been interested in Fukuoka when I heard it was closer to Shanghai than to Tokyo. Fukuoka has turned out to be the other. Not Kansai or Kantou in its ways, but very much Kyuushu. However, I cannot help but feel a little downhearted by the small glance of gal culture I saw in Fukuoka.

 
 
 
 
The Cecil McBee window displays and gals outside Core

Core

The main Fukuoka mall of gal culture. However 6(ish) floors are dedicated to gal style, while 2 are for men’s looks. Many not exactly gyaruo. Fukuoka’s concept of 109 the corner for men been done in a stylish way that definitely helps Fukuoka boys become sexy gyaruo. But, I just can’t feel the same for girls. While the girls floors are packed with great 109 brands: Cecil McBee, Lip Service, One*Spo, Glad News, and Cocolulu to name a few. For the most part, the gals I saw inside the stores didn’t reflect the pure style of the brand.

Cocolulu staff girls were on point, but many shopping had bad flat hair and no extensions. The dying seemed lacking as well as tight outfit style I see from the several of the clientele and staff of 109. I even couldn’t call it relaxed like the Osaka gals, instead it just seemed lacking.

 
 
 
Their deco store on B-1 did seem top notch, tough. Love the handle.

To further bastardize Fukuoka gal style, JRock brand Algonquins as well as Lolita powerhouse Angelic Pretty had stores next to gal brands. Out and about in Fukuoka I saw more people in JRock style than gal style. The gal magazines were out and displayed in tons of Fukuoka bookstores, but the lessons on style weren’t reaching the Fukuoka girls.

The 109 Mens floor was a new and welcome addition, featuring men’s brands such as Vanquish, Buffalo Bobs, Glad News, Semantic Design and more..

 
 

This is not to say all Fukuoka gals were lacking, I saw a few with cute ideas and even some Agejo style and some with good strong gal looks and one girl with the best short hair I had see Agejo in a long time.


Hostesses and Nakasu

 
 
The rows of foodstalls and the crowds around Nakasu

Fukuoka has a tiny island of entertainment district called Nakasu in which tons of hostess clubs were located. It seemed hostess clubs wholly overpowered the host clubs. I didn’t see that many hostesses out and about shopping in Core. At Shinjuku Alta, Agejo wannabe mix with the hostess girls while shopping. This was’t the case for Fukuoka Agejo, which I imagine have strong numbers judging by the amount of kyabakura inside the island.

A giant building housing tons of hostess clubs, possiblty 7 per floor.
A row listing all the clubs inside
They’re calling this a girl’s bar although all the pictures make it look more like an information stop.
Girls bars are more like traditional hostesses, who simply serve drinks and listen on a bar stool next to you.
For some reason every entertainment district has tons of pet shops.
My bet is its a place for hosts to take their customers
It was hard to get a good shot of this place and I cared not to get closer since there seemed to be visible yakuza patrolling the place. It was an entire giant apartment block set-up to be a soapland or “massage” and prostitution building. 8 floors in total, which means a lot of hookin’

Sky Dream Fukuoka

You can take a bus from Tenjin (one of Fukuoka’s main hubs) and head to Evergreen Marinoa outlets. I do not recommend training it since the setting itself is a 20+ minute winding walk from the closest train station. Evergreen Marinoa has Sky Dream Fukuoka. Purportedly the fourth tallest Ferris Wheel, Sky Dream takes 20 minutes to rotate and is a great date spot.

Making the loop better is the large selection of outlets to shop at around it. Everything from ABC Mart shoe store, to gal stores such as Egoist and male-fronted Tornado Mart. All the outlet items were last year’s pieces, but my all time favorite Egoist dress was in there for $40.00, not a bad way to stock up on sexy dresses. However since Lip Service is doing sexy current basics at $40.00 I wasn’t swayed to purchase anything. For those interested in OL there was a Pinky & Diane and also a nice large Coach outlet. Prices appeared to be only 15-25% off at the Coach Outlet, but maybe I was missing some great bargains.

 
 
Me and the man taking Ferris Wheel puri
I can’t say I recommend traveling to Fukuoka. Especially since the sheer price to do so: around $800.00 round trip on the Shinkansen. For a small port city, Kobe is much better.
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Osaka part two: Namba Nighttime

Namba Nighttime
I stayed mostly in Namba, since the man and I both love the epicenter of food and lots of great things to see and do on the waterfront place. Lots of gals were out enjoying the place, along with all types of people.
Dotonbori – the eating and neon center of Osaka

Gyaruo shops
Crazy giant food signs
Casual gals enjoying Osaka at night
Another gyaruo store
The new trend: host suits for sale
Two Agejo gals out for the night



Osaka thoughts

I saw a lot of different kinds of gals at Osaka and many seemed put together and styling. However, maybe it is my Tokyo bias, but it seems more common to see average looking girls who spend little time on their hair/make/nails heading into OPA. I do admit I am quite biased by 109 and even though I do spend the time and money to try to keep myself at the top of my game, I’m always amazed by how stunning some of the regular shoppers at 109 are. Maybe relaxed is more the description for some Osaka gals, not simply letting go. Fukuoka however is another talk…

The quintessential Osaka shot. Taking a photo of yourself in front of the Gilico Runnning Man

Bonus:

The exit of Namba near our hotel had nightly gatherings for b-boys and bgirls. Crews practicing their aerials and spins, while others were doing one-on-one throwdowns. Some had some ABDC potential… or should I say NBDC? ^_^v Pretty cool to check out if you’re in the area on a weekend.
Our hotel was the Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka, which was relatively inexpensive but super classy. Recommended!

Osaka part one – OPA

Osaka view at night from our hotel room

Osaka has been mainly a sightseeing and yakiniku pigout (although Okonomiyaki is the delicacy of Osaka, we’re both not big fans so meat it is!). However I stayed in Namba and ran into Amerikamura for the OPA located there.

 
Gals and others outside OPA

 
OPA’s window display

OPA ventures

OPA is Osaka’s main gal mall (english directions), housing brands such as Mar*s, Backs, Spiral Girl, Egoist and others. However, unlike 109 it has to share its space with non-gal brands.

 
Love the chandelier/crystal effect on the background.

Cute big unisex surf/ame-kaji shop

More from the ame-kaji store

Spiral Girl front

SBY Happy Room seems to have opened recently there and it was packed! SBY in 2008 when it opened on the 8th floor of 109 it was a relatively quiet area. Even though Egg Model Rumi and Men’s Egg Model Daichi Tanaka worked there (much to my delicious eye candy delight), it wasn’t necessarily packed. Then it became the spot for teens to hang out and exploded and even expanded. Now it’s not as much fun to go to because of the crowds and lack of eye candy. However SBY has tapped into the ability to sell small items that could be set into a trend at decent prices but to tons of teens.

The tons of preteens and teens hoarding SBY Happy Room goods.

SBY Happy Room in Osaka lacks any bubble tea (the only item they originally had) and only sells small items. However it seems wildly successful, so for those still in their teens head into SBY and grab some young trends.

arti-Sanal Gilfy right next to SBY was what I was amazed about. It is the only boutique store of Gilfy’s, featuring Redark, 06 and Gilfy (Backs was located on the floor above). The store was simply amazing. Done all in one shade of grass green with the shoe side in faux jungle vines. The store layout was nice and open while being packed with clothes. It was my first time to see the 06 line and I was really happy with it. They had a lot of thin basic tees with interesting prints paired with current rising trends such as leggings and fluffy skirts (known as shuu-shuu skirts in japaese aka cream puff skirts lol). While they worked with trends, they were nicely Gilfy-ized.

06/Gilfy styles
Regular Gilf goods
Cute jungle background for the shoes
Waiting line to purchase was out of the store~

All around their fall is looking bright and finally Gilfy is turning the corner with a good year.

If you’re curious what I got, it’s the onepiece and knit cap in my Osaka vacay photos.

Outside OPA in Ame-mura you can stroll through the covered walkways and find cheap shoe stores, gal knock-off styles and tons of places to eat.

Next is part-two. Nighttime in Namba… πŸ™‚

Traveling Doll

Your girl is currently on the road on her way to New Braunsfels, TX home of lovely rivers and a cool waterpark, Schlitterbahn. Currently a hurricane is hitting the Bahamas so no island luvin’ for me. I’ve been working on a post on how to travel gal style so I thought I should show how I’m doing it this weekend and post pics of my outfits throughout the weekend.

Sadly my exte are out and I need a haircut, but I wasn’t about to dye my hair and then seep it in chlorine for the weekend. Hair comes Monday πŸ™‚

Fridaytraveling
t-shirt and onepiece: Glad News
shoes: Bape Bapesta Pandas

Saturday – waterpark day
top: Lip Service
bottoms: VS Pink
swimsuit: VS
hairties: Bape silver Milos
sunglasses: f21

Sunday – Sea World
top: Glad News
bottoms: urban outfitters
shoes: bape bapesta pandas

As you can see I packed with “loose and flowy” in mind since Texas summer heat is not kind and wearing loose clothes keeps you cool in 100+ degree heat. Now 6 days until I’m back in Tokyo~

Silly things on the road:


Buc-ees roadstop done in rhinestones, bless my deco heart

A crazyass shirt I saw at Walgreens. LOL F-asian so Texas, yes?

Traveling Gal

I love to travel! Starting in May I crossed through 3 states in the US and then to Japan. Especially in the states I do not dress in all 109 clothing. A little American mix is always fun.

Sakurina doing it right in Glad News’ resort dress and protecting the face!

However traveling presents a lot of problems where Gal is concerned since the time it takes to make oneself fabulous and the stress of travel. However, I was on a 10:00PM flight to Guam from Japan that landed at 2:00 and I salute the two Rock-kei gals who kept their hair perfect and make-up intact along with pulling off casually waiting in a humid dead of night Guam for their shuttle to the airport. Handclap, chicas.

Gorgeous Guam. Vacay spot for many gals including me last fall πŸ™‚

The rest of us could use a few pointers for living the jetsetting gal lifestyle.

1. Beltfree hotpants, cardigan and flipflops. Stay cool, show off your tan and breeze through airport security.

2. Amekaji is your friend and cotton loves you. Last summer I had a fun amekaji and rock vibe going and the styles really compliment being comfortable in summer. Skimp on needless accessories when traveling (less space and you might lose them). Instead work color denim into your style and find cute cotton tops with prints that do your style for you, so you can concern yourself with having fun.

3. Theme your packing. Remember I said to theme your wardrobe as tip 1 for Summer? Same goes for vacationing only to a higher level, make everything mixable with one another. Plus no matter where you’re headed pack a cute dress. You never know when you’ll head somewhere for dinner whether your sunning in Greece or being casual in Colorado.

Right: Me in Gilfy in the African Kingdom at Disneyworld this month.

4. Use hair cheats. Curling with a straightening iron. Use leave in conditioners to protect your hair while you’re ignoring it.

5. Sunnies love you. Too much travel, put them on the face. Eyes are the first things to wrinkle on your face, think about that each time you forget your sunnies. This is my accessory to pack more than one pair of. Be sure to switch it up. Having a white pair makes your tan darker and a black pair can work a great contrast.


6. Protect thy face. Donatella Versasce has many things going for her that could make her a top gal: a fierce tan, over-the-top features and a wonderful sense of style. However, she forgot to protect her face. 10-20 years from now when you might consider gal a thing of your past, wrinkles will be there. Moisturize, shade, use make-up with an SPF, and then sunscreen SPF yourself always.

7. Gal luggage. One of the great pieces to pick up when you’re in Japan is luggage as I said before. Now so many brands are offering their own carryons and it’s a great way to look classy as you travel. Mar*s and Cecil McBee have excellent ones if you’re nabbing one in Japan. However, gals also love the Louis Vuitton luggage line and Betsey Johnson’s fun prints.

Sakurina with her Ed Hardy hardcase

Cecil McBee’s luggage line. I have one from them πŸ™‚

Heading to Japan!

It’s Summer which means my booty is on its way to Japan. My apartment is in Shibuya and without giving away stalker-ability details, it’s near 109 (!!!!!!). I am however in the awkward situation of packing to go… so I thought I’d share with you things I’m bringing and things I will buy as a helpful tool to those who are visiting or staying.

1. Not bringing an empty suitcase!

American clothes as long as they stay with the trends can blend well into your Japan gal ways. Personally I love print tees, since they are original and can match with a skirt, jumper or shorts. Plus with Forever 21 opening in Japan, be the first to easily have merchandise that’s soon to disappear in Japan.

Although bringing a small suitcase and buying a Japanese style suitcase is a smart buy. 360 degree wheel turning and a hard shell make traveling so easy.

Pictured is my giant indigo traveler that makes moving from one country to another very easy.

Three of my summer buys in America:

This sweetheart bust dress with pockets from Urban Outfitters helps my Marine coordinates.

These two tops from UO work for the French Chic that Cecil and other brands try to combine with their Marine look.

The thin textured stripes on this cardigan from the Gap won me over. The lightweight fabric will help transition from Spring to Summer. I can see this worked into Marine and Preppie coordinates.

2. Curling irons and straighteners.

I have yet to find a curling iron in Japan with delicious ceramic and ionic capabilities. Getting a quality tool makes quality hair.

My ceramic 1 1/4″ rod of fury. A drag queen complimented my hair the first time I tested it out, enough said.

3. Sleepy clothes aka Room Wear.

Room Wear has become very popular in Japan and many cute brands are doing Room Wear. In the dead of Winter OneSpo gave away a cosy dot set (a sleep dress with hoodie and kangaroo pouch and matching scrunchie) and slippers. They were so comfy and free! But don’t count on 109 stores, Peach John did their version of Pink (Club Peach) and in my opinion, it fails. So instead enjoy the cute VS Pink or cheap adorable roomwear you’ve brought from overseas.

4. Deep Conditioner.

I’m a healthy hair fanatic and I have yet to find something wonderful in Japan to match my Deep Conditioning treatment. Love your hair and it loves you back.

Ion brand Deep Hydrating Conditioner is my Godsend. Pictured with another good idea, inexpensive hair scissors for bang and split end touch ups.

5. Bras.

Japan has lifting skill beyond belief, but for those an American C cup and over you might have trouble getting cute bras in Japan. Buy new ones right before you go so they’ll last you.

Curious what size you are in Japan: use this bra converter

6. Highbrand pieces.

Brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior all have pricing standards in different parts of the world. US and Guam are the same, while Hawaii can be cheaper. Japan however is very pricey and you may find yourself paying an extra 100USD+ to buy something special. So buy or bring your hot pieces into Japan. It’s why Hawaii and Guam are such popular vacay spots for Japan. Other than the snorkling, Guam is tons of fun! ^_^v

My Chanel ring, a Valentine’s Day present.

7. Fitted items.

If you are busty or tall consider buying button up shirts, onesies, swimsuits and other items before heading to Japan.

Important tip about sizing in Japan below!

I was going to have a whole post on this, but the quick and dirty is…
American 00/0 = S, 2/4 = M, 6/8 = L. Anything else and you’re out of luck. Of course height and body type play into this, so check the measurements!

Most brands only carry up to M, or jeans come in 3 sizes up to a 29 inch waist. Honey’s in 109-2 carries L size fitted items (jeans, shorts etc…) in many of the newest styles. They’re also cheap! Check out their Odaiba store(mapοΌ‰, too. It’s big enough to be worth a trip to Odaiba for!

8. Sneakers.

Super popular right now and so comfy! It also helps to dance all night in them. Nike America and Nike Europe have great selections, so make your IDs and have fun. Or find a great pair of Converse Hightops.

9. Sensible shoes.

Oh this is just depressing to say, but 2-3inch heels are the best when doing a lot of walking. Sorry, but that’s as sensible as I get. Make sure at least to have recovery shoes such as: engineer boots or sneakers.

Do not consider flat shoes like flip flops for a walk involving a train station. I did this my first semester and some salaryman busted my toe open in my Dior gladiator flats. It was a sad day girls.

My Marc by Marc Jacobs pair for heading to the conbini and such.

10. Deodorant.

I sweat, with some skill. Japanese deodorant sucks, it sucks horribly. So stock on up on some. Degree Clinical Protection is my personal choice.

11. Basics.

Yes there’s an American Apparel in Japan, but it’s usually $2-3USD more expensive. Leggings, basic tees, high waist skirt dresses, even their cute skater dress gets my thumbs up.

12. Medicines/Contacts and Glasses.

Most great Doctors are happy to fill your prescriptions months at a time which helps not dealing with Japanese national healthcare for birth control etc…

13. Whitening strips.

I had to add a number 11 to my Summer tips, because this is one I do every summer. Use whitening strips, Crest makes great ones and they really help. White teeth make your eyes look brighter, your tan darker and your face more pleasing to look at when you smile. They’re cheap, they’re easy to pack, and all it takes is 30 minutes while surfing on the net to good body care.

Gal tip: Using lipglosses with blue undertones make teeth whiter. MAC sells blue glitter glosses to layer over your favorite color.

14. A foot massager.

This is my first time bringing a big one, but all the ones in Tokyu Hands were $100USD+. For $44 here I bought a warming one with rotating balls. Now my feet can be comforted while I’m reading the latest Ageha. Such heaven!


Ahhh the balls.